Otago Daily Times

Martin set for NZ debut at home — again

- ADRIAN SECONI

KATEY Martin’s last big homecoming did not quite pan out as she had planned.

The veteran wicketkeep­er-batswoman was supposed to play her first internatio­nal in Dunedin on February 13 last year.

That joy was going to be shared with longterm Otago teammate Suzie Bates, who has also gone her entire career without playing an internatio­nal fixture at home.

But alas, it rained and the T20 against South Africa was abandoned without a ball bowled.

But Martin is hopeful she will break the drought — ha — later this month.

The 36yearold has been named in a 13strong White Ferns oneday squad for the threegame series against England.

Games two and three of the series are being staged at the University of Otago Oval on February 26 and 28.

The city last hosted a women’s internatio­nal in 1999, which is why Martin, who has played 80 onedayers, 85 T20s and one test for her country, has not got off the mark in Dunedin.

‘‘It is pretty special to have the opportunit­y to play at home,’’ Martin said.

‘‘But there will be some mixed emotions for me with Suzie Bates not being there.’’

Bates is recovering from shoulder surgery and has been ruled out for the season.

‘‘Obviously we’ve grown up together, played a lot of cricket together and having the opportunit­y to play at home alongside Suzie would have been an amazing experience.

‘‘But being able to play in front of my friends and family will be pretty special. Dad likes to walk around the field counting my runs — I’m not sure why he does that because it is on the scoreboard.

‘‘But I think they are pretty excited and it will just be a nice feeling being back in Dunedin and playing at home.’’

Martin has lived in Christchur­ch for more than a decade but remains loyal to Otago and still calls Dunedin home.

Martin scored a century during her last oneday outing for the Sparks at the University Oval and smashed 85 from 56 balls during a recent Super Smash game at the venue.

‘‘I do love playing at home. I know the conditions pretty well and the wicket has been really, really good.

‘‘So hopefully it will suit me a bit and work in my favour.’’

The White Ferns have picked two potential debutantes.

Teenaged Auckland leftarm spinner Fran Jonas and Northern Districts allrounder Brooke Halliday have been included.

Halliday is the secondlead­ing runscorer in the Hallyburto­n Johnstone Shield, while Jonas, who is just 16, is the fourth highest wickettake­r in the competitio­n.

White Ferns coach Bob Carter said he was looking forward to welcoming the pair and seeing what they are capable of in the internatio­nal environmen­t.

The squad also features the return of Canterbury allrounder Frankie Mackay.

The White Ferns assemble on February 17 in Christchur­ch for a training camp before their first ODI against England, at Hagley Oval on February 23.

 ?? PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES ?? Into her work . . . England’s Heather Knight bats in the nets at the Queenstown Events Centre. The England squad completed its 14day quarantine in the resort on Tuesday and started training yesterday.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES Into her work . . . England’s Heather Knight bats in the nets at the Queenstown Events Centre. The England squad completed its 14day quarantine in the resort on Tuesday and started training yesterday.
 ??  ?? Katey Martin
Katey Martin

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